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Windows 7: Looking for a good backup software/backup plan


26 Sep 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Looking for a good backup software/backup plan

Hi,

Because the amount of data stored on my drives is continuously increasing, I've decided that it's time to find a way to backup the most important part of it.

So, I'm looking for a software capable of making a backup copy(on a secondary HDD) of certain folders and of certain files(from certain folders) and keeping it updated.

I'm also interested to make a backup copy of files that are locked, if possible.
I have some VMs and I'd like to back them up too if possbile.(I'll check to see whether VMWare Workstation can backup itself by taking snapshots on a different HDD at certain moments).

The software really needs to be able to cope with paths longer than 255 characters, it has to be able to retain all the file's attributes(creation date, modified date, attribute fields, etc), and it has to ba able to do bit-by-bit checking in order to prevent corruption.

Also, there are some large files that I can't backup(it would take too much space), and in this case I'd like to have a list of their names and sizes, and if possible a checksum(TTH or emule's MD5), in order to redownload them easily in case of a disaster.


What software would you advise me to use?


BTW, I'm also very interested about your backup methods for your sensible data.

PS: Neither RAID nor a ZFS NAS box are solutions for me at the moment, and I'm not looking for a software that does backup to an entire partition.

Regards,
Nick

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Sep 2010   #2

64-bit Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

You dont want much do you Nick?? Im not aware of any program that will do 100% of everything that you have listed ... that would require custom software ... the easiest solution IMO would be a program like Acronis/Macrium image, backed up to an external 2tb hard drive ... it may not be the most elegant solution, but it would work...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2010   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I realize that I'm asking a lot. What about a minimal version that would be able to:

-make a backup copy of certain folders/certain extension files/certain size files
-update the backup copy at a certain time interval
-ability to work with paths longer than 255 characters
-maintain file attributes(especially creation date and modified date)
-bit-by-bit checking of files before trying to update the backup

I'll try to find something else for my VMs, and I'll try to use a catalogue software(WhereIsIt for example) for monitoring names/sizes of large files.



I'm also very interested to find out how do you backup your files when using a very dynamic environment, and working with large amounts of files, and the environment is susceptible to corruption(for example, i got some bad clusters on my hdd a while ago).

In this scenario, which, btw is a very realistic one, making whole partition images is not an option, making multiple backup copies at certain time intervals is also a very slow solution when disaster happens(hard to find which file from which backup copy is ok, and which got corrupted and so on, bacause corruption doesn't occur at the same time for all the files, instead it settles itself gradually).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Sep 2010   #4

64-bit Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

What you want and what you can get are two entirely different matters ... Im not sure that there are any comercial software solutions available that would not cost thousands of dollars... Just how much data do you have to back up??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2010   #5

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

You are talking commercial backup software, such as what is used on file servers. Some of the "cloud" backup solutions may be something to consider.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2010   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Tews View Post
What you want and what you can get are two entirely different matters ... Im not sure that there are any comercial software solutions available that would not cost thousands of dollars... Just how much data do you have to back up??
At the moment, I'm using just 2 HDDs out of 6, just to be cautious, so ~500GBs.
The problem is that it's growing and soon I'll be needing a dedicated storage box along with a software that moves data from the PC to it.

I'm thinking at a ZFS, RAID6, ECC, NAS/DAS box, but not enough $ for the moment.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fireberd View Post
You are talking commercial backup software, such as what is used on file servers. Some of the "cloud" backup solutions may be something to consider.
Could you give me some examples? Which are considered to be the best?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2010   #7

64-bit Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

Most of the users here are probably not in a position to say what file server software is the "best" as they dont have the requirements that you do, but here is a good place to start http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...AAAqgQFT9BWN4M
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2010   #8

Windows 8 Pro / Windows 7 Home Premium x64 dual boot
 
 

Don't know if it'll do EVERYTHING your looking for but it will do most , here is what I use : OoopsBackup Altaro Oops!Backup. Time Machine Easy Backup Software for Windows 7, Vista & XP. Easy Backup Software , just set it and forget it .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2010   #9

7 - x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by edee View Post
Don't know if it'll do EVERYTHING your looking for but it will do most , here is what I use : OoopsBackup Altaro Oops!Backup. Time Machine Easy Backup Software for Windows 7, Vista & XP. Easy Backup Software , just set it and forget it .

I use the same Oops Backup product (weird name but works great).

I'm sure it can do the following -

Quote:
So, I'm looking for a software capable of making a backup copy(on a secondary HDD) of certain folders and of certain files(from certain folders) and keeping it updated.
Quote:
I'm also interested to make a backup copy of files that are locked, if possible.
I have some VMs and I'd like to back them up too if possbile.(I'll check to see whether VMWare Workstation can backup itself by taking snapshots on a different HDD at certain moments).
Uses MS VSS to back up locked files.

Quote:
The software really needs to be able to cope with paths longer than 255 characters, it has to be able to retain all the file's attributes(creation date, modified date, attribute fields, etc), and it has to ba able to do bit-by-bit checking in order to prevent corruption.
Yep!

---

I don't believe it does the below however - probably would have to be some custom script. Shouldn't be difficult to do.

Quote:
Also, there are some large files that I can't backup(it would take too much space), and in this case I'd like to have a list of their names and sizes, and if possible a checksum(TTH or emule's MD5), in order to redownload them easily in case of a disaster.
Good luck!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2010   #10

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi there
1) VM's are just DATA to Windows so just include these files in your Data Backup.
you don't need to run special backup within the VM itself - if you run it from Windows then the CONTENT of the VM's is immaterial, Linux / Windows or whatever.

2) The VITAL factor in all this is to have your host OS on its own partition together with programs like Photoshop / Office etc etc.

Also make sure your Virtual Machine Images are NOT stored in the same partition as your Windows System too.

3) Back up the OS regularly as an IMAGE say at LEAST once a week and before making any major updates / adding new software.

Even a largish Windows 7 installation shouldn't need more than around 60 GB and with a program like Acronis with standard compression will create for you a backup image of around 27 GB -- this can be loaded via the Bootable Media program if you need to do a system restore --you DON'T LOSE USER DATA EITHER.

OK that takes care of the OS -- Now the Data.

What I would do here is divide the data into sets of directories say 4 sets and backup a different set every night as DATA. Acronis will do this easily. Theres also ways of selecting specific file types, excluding others etc etc. Very powerful and flexible but you need to read the documentation. Acronis can schedule jobs at specific times or on specific days of the week too.

The FIRST time through back it up as a COMPLETE data backup and save this data.

Now for the next few weeks you can backup using a technique known as Incremental Backup -- this will only backup CHANGED data files so the backup set is much smaller.

Of course if you need to restore you have to start with the last FULL backup and then mount each of the incrementals since you last took the full backup.

Every so often take a NEW full data backup again.

Dividing data into Libraries could be a good idea.

This is why you need commercial software as you NEED the Incremental backup facility and these jobs can be scheduled to run at specific periods.

Acronis to me is the easiest solution --works a treat -- but so long as the software has the basic facilities in it any package will do.

BTW LONG term data that doesn't change could be ARCHIVED -- this is another strategy and is different from Backup. There is nothing wrong in storing this type of data on removable media --DVD RAM probably is the most reliable for Long Term data storage but it's fairly slow. Archived data can be removed from your ONLINE storage and in any case doesn't need to be backed up by your normal Backup process.


This is a project that you need to sit down and USE A PEN AND PAPER to work out what and how to backup your data.

Once you've devised a strategy look for a decent commercial package -- Freeware while good isn't robust enough for this type of project.

I use Acronis but there ARE alternatives. You don't need the server version either.

Note Acronis also will handle Multivolume so if you are loading to say a USB drive and it gets full you'll be prompted for another drive.

It handles Locked files too and the compression ratio is really good.

It takes me roughly 15 min to backup a 65 GB FULL OS Windows 7 system image with Photoshop, Office 2010, MySQL, WAMP etc etc installed. File size of the Image is 18.5GB.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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